April 12, 2012

Today you should read: Micah 2

Anytime a passage of scripture opens with a “woe”, get ready to experience conviction. There are lots of “woe’s” in the Bible, all of which give us stern warnings on godliness, obedience, and sin. Today’s passage, Micah 2, is no exception. Here’s what it says:

Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds!
When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. (Micah 2:1 ESV)

You might be wondering, “What will happen if we devise wickedness and evil?” Where is the retribution in this “woe”? Well, God gives us some pretty stern words:

Therefore thus says the LORD: behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be a time of disaster. In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you and moan bitterly, and say, “We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! To an apostate he allots our fields.” (Micah 2:3-4 ESV)

This passage spoke specifically about those mistreating God’s people and God’s holy land. The rest of the passage speaks of the foolishness of those in Israel. They were allowing false teachers to preach messages contrary to the Lord’s law. God was displeased, and yet in verses 12-13, we see God’s awesome promise to gather Israel once again.

Alright… so back to the “woe”. What is the lesson learned today? The first thing we learn ties in with the overarching truth of the Bible: God is holy. Never forget it. He is set apart. He is pure. If He wasn’t pure, how could He offer this “woe”? Secondly: God’s holiness demands holiness. We are supposed to be like Him. We must avoid “devising wickedness” at all costs. We must life above reproach.

The reality is, though, that none of us is perfect. While we may think we are good people, we all fall short of God’s glory. Even the most “Christian” of us miss His mark. Today, be grateful that you are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Be thankful that while you are guilty of this “woe”, you serve a God of second chances.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

April 11, 2012

Today you should read: Micah 1

Good morning JumpStart!  Today we start a new book – the book of Micah.  Before you read chapter 1, let me give you some background on the book.

The author is Micah, from the town of Moresheth-Gath mentioned in 1:14.  This little town is about 25 miles south west of Jerusalem near the Philistine city of Gath.  He lived during the times of the kings of Judah – Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (between 750 and 687 BC).  His contemporaries were Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea.  His purposes for writing were to warn of impending judgment, to speak to Israel’s disloyalty to her covenant with God, to emphasize God’s justice and love in disciplining a nation, to affirm His future restoration of His people, and to present God as the sovereign Lord of the earth who controls the destinies of nations.

Now… read chapter 1.

God is serious about our obedience.  It’s how He knows if we love Him or not.

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”  John 14:15

God has always blessed people when they’ve obeyed, and brought judgment on them when they’ve disobeyed.  This is the story of the Old Testament.

What does God expect us to obey?

  1. His Word

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.  James 1:22-25

  1. His Voice

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  John 10:27

  1. His Leading

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.  Psalm 119:133

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

How are you doing with obeying God?  Remember obeying is doing what you’re told, when you’re told, with the right heart attitude.

What has God asked you to do that you have not obeyed?

You can disobey God just as clearly through procrastination as you can by directly saying no.

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’  ” ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”  Matthew 21:28-31

What have you said you would do – but haven’t followed through with?  What do you need to confess today and make steps to change?

Posted by: Tim Parsons